The John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award® is the nation's most prestigious honor for public servants.

Throughout his political career, President Kennedy inspired people to work for the benefit of their communities, their country, and their world. He believed that each person can make a difference, and that everyone should try. In particular, he wanted to restore a belief in politics as a noble profession and a calling to public service.

The Profile in Courage Award was created in 1989 by members of President Kennedy's family to honor President John F. Kennedy and to recognize and celebrate the quality of political courage that he admired most.

The award is named for President Kennedy’s 1957 Pulitzer prize-winning book, Profiles in Courage, which recounts the stories of eight U.S. Senators who risked their careers by embracing unpopular positions for the greater good.

The Profile in Courage Award seeks to make Americans aware of the courageous acts of their public servants, and to encourage elected officials to choose the public interest over partisanship – to do what is right, rather than what is expedient.

The award is presented annually to a public official or officials at the federal, state or local level whose actions demonstrate the qualities of politically courageous leadership in the spirit of Profiles in Courage.

The Profile in Courage Award is administered by the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation. A distinguished bipartisan committee named by the Foundation reviews all nominations, and selects the recipient or recipients of the award.

The award is presented each May at a ceremony at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in connection with the observance of President Kennedy’s May 29 birthday. The award is represented by a sterling silver lantern, modeled after the lantern on the USS Constitution, the oldest commissioned ship in the U.S. Navy. The lantern was designed by Edwin Schlossberg and crafted by Tiffany & Co.

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Profile in Courage Award

On the set for CBS This MorningCaroline Kennedy and Brooksley BornCaroline Kennedy and Leymah GboweeCaroline Kennedy and Shelia Bair2009 Profile in Courage Award Winners with Caroline KennedyCaroline Kennedy and Women of LiberiaAl Hunt and Caroline KennedyAl Hunt with Caroline KennedyCalifornia Secretary of State Debra Bowen and Caroline KennedyCaroline Kennedy with Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner and Paul KirkCaroline Kennedy at 2004 Profile in Courage Award Ceremony.Congressman John Lewis2007 Profile in Courage Award Honoree Doris VoiterElaine Jones2001 Profile in Courage Award recipients Public Servants of September 11, 20012007 Profile in Courage Award recipient Bill White John McCain and Russell Feingold recieve the 1999 Profile in Courage AwardKofi Annan PICA Award2005 Profile in Courage Award RecipientsCarl Elliott, Sr.Charles WeltnerCharles Weltner with members of the Kennedy family2009 Profile in Courage Award Recipients2006 Profile in Courage Award recipient Alberto Mora2007 Profile in Courage Award recipient Bill White2005 Profile in Courage Award Recipient Bill Ratliff John F. Kennedy Library Foundation2009 Profile in Courage Award recipient Brooksley BornCarl Elliott Sr.1997 Profile in Courage Award recipient Charles Price.1991 Profile in Courage Award recipient Charles Weltner2004 Profile in Courage Award Recipient Cindy Watson.1996 Profile in Courage Award recipient Corkin Cherubini.2003 Profile in Courage Award recipient Dan Ponder.Sgt. Joseph Darby with Lantern John F. Kennedy Library Foundation2003 Profile in Courage Award recipient David Beasley.2008 Profile in Courage Award recipient Debra Bowen2007 Profile in Courage Award recipient Doris Voitier2001 Profile in Courage Award recipient President Gerald Ford1994 Profile in Courage Award recipient Henry Gonzalez2000 Profile in Courage Award recipient Hilda Solis.1993 Profile in Courage Award recipient James Florio.2008 Profile in Courage Award recipient Jennifer BrunnerEdward M. Kennedy2001 Profile in Courage Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Congressman John Lewis.1999 Profile in Courage Award recipients Senators John McCain and Russell Feingold.2002 Profile in Courage Award recipient Kofi Annan.2009 Profile in Courage Award recipients Leymah Gbowee, Vaiba Flomo and Janet Johnson Bryant1992 Profile in Courage Award recipient Lowell Weicker, Jr.1995 Profile in Courage Award recipient Michael Synar2010 Profile in Courage Award recipients Mike Villines, Darrell Steinberg, David Cogdill, and Karen Bass1998 Profile in Courage Award recipient Nickolas Murnion.1998 Profile in Courage Award recipients Peacemakers of Northern Ireland.2001 Profile in Courage Award recipients Public Servants of September 11, 20012003 Profile in Courage Award recipient Roy Barnes.2009 Profile in Courage Award recipient Sheila Bair.Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin 2004 Profile in Courage Award recipient Sima Simar2005 Profile in Courage Award recipient Viktor Yushchenko2008 Profile in Courage Award recipient William WinterLowell WeickerNew Jersey Governor James Florio, recipient of the 1993 Profile in Courage Award.Congressman Henry B. Gonzalez of TexasCongressman Michael Synar of Oklahoma, recipient of the 1995 Profile in Courage AwardGeorgia School Superintendent Corkin Cherubini, recipient of the 1996 Profile in Courage AwardJudge Charles Price receives 1997 Profile in Courage Award from Caroline Kennedy1998 Profile in Courage Award Recipient Nickolas MurnionPeacemakers of Northern Ireland receive special Profile in Courage AwardCalifornia State Senator Hilda Solis accepts 2000 Profile in Courage AwardKofi Annan with Caroline Kennedy and Senator KennedyFormer Palos Heights, Illinois Mayor Dean Koldenhoven receives Profile in Courage Award from Caroline Kennedy, May 6, 20022003 Profile in Courage Award RecipientsDan Ponder, Jr. and Caroline KennedyGovernor David Beasley and Caroline KennedyFormer Georgia Governor Roy Barnes accepts the Profile in Courage Award from Caroline Kennedy, May 12, 2003John SeigenthalerThe 2004 Profile in Courage Award LanternSima SamarPaul MueggeCindy Watson2004 Profile in Courage Award RecipientsEssay Winner Will Schmidley with SeigenthalerSenator Kennedy at Podium 2005 PICA2005 Profile in Courage Award Recipient Bill RatliffUkraine President Viktor YushchenkoVictor Yushchenko Receives Profile in Courage Award from Caroline Kennedy and Senator KennedySgt. Joseph Darby with LanternNBC Today Show Set 2005 PICAMembers of the Media Awaiting the Arrival of Ukraine President Viktor YushchenkoProfile in Courage Award LanternAdvertisment promoting the 2006 John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Essay Contest2006 Profile in Courage Award Recipient Congressman John Murtha (D-PA) with Senator Edward M. Kennedy.2006 Profile in Courage Award recipient Congressman John Murtha and Caroline Kennedy2006 Profile in Courage Award Recipients John Murtha and Alberto Mora on the Today Show set with Caroline KennedyAlberto Mora, recipient of the 2006 John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award2006 Profile in Courage Award recipients Alberto Mora and Congressman John Murtha with Senator Edward M. Kennedy and Caroline KennedyPaperback Edition Book CoverMayor Bill White - Recipient of the 2007 Profile in Courage AwardRecipients of the 2008 Profile in Courage AwardShirley Franklin Receiving a Profile in Courage AwardShirley Franklin Giving an Acceptance SpeechPresident Gerald Ford and Congressman John LewisPresident Ford Receiving a Profile in Courage AwardSenator Kennedy Receives 2009 Profile in Courage AwardWilliam Winter
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On the set for CBS This Morning